Vayechi 5766-2006

"The Passing of a Patriarch" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Vayechi, we read of the passing of the patriarch Jacob. The Torah tells us that as soon as…

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Emor 5762-2002

"Death and the Kohanim--the Children of Aaron" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this coming week's parasha, parashat Emor, the parasha begins with the laws of the sanctity of the Kohanim,…

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Emor 5775-2015

“Distractions, Distractions!” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week’s Torah portion, parashat Emor, opens with an extensive series of laws regarding the conduct of the Kohanim, the…

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Vayishlach 5774-2013

"The Death of Deborah, Rebecca’s Nurse" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Vayishlach, after the traumatic rape of Dina in Shechem and the revenge at the hands…

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Emor 5780-2020

“Death, and the Kohanim--the Children of Aaron” (updated and revised from Parashat Emor 5762-2002)   by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald   In this week’s parasha, parashat Emor, the…

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Chayei Sara 5764-2003

"Who Was the Matriarch Sarah?" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Chayei Sarah, the matriarch Sarah, Abraham's wife, passes away. The authors of the Midrash,…

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To Dust You Will Return

Death is a big business, and the business of the funeral industry is geared toward comforting the mourner and helping them accept the passing of their loved ones. Therefore, most funeral…

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Nitzavim-Vayeilech 5773-2013

"They’re Not Laughing At Me Anymore!" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s double parashiot, Nitzavim-Vayeilech, Moses gathers all the People of Israel together, re-enters them…

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Eikev 5778-2018

“Contemporary Idolatry”   In this week’s parasha, parashat Eikev, Moses, just days before his demise, continues his final oration to the People of Israel, and conveys his message of…

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Bamidbar 5769-2009

"Bringing Order to the Camp of Israel" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Bamidbar, the people of Israel are instructed to build a camp in the wilderness. G-d…

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Chayei Sarah 5768-2007

"O Captain, My Captain" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Although the name of this week's parasha is Chayei Sarah, literally, "the life of Sarah," the parasha does not really concern itself…

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Emor 5765-2005

"Priests and Death: An Unusual Relationship" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week's parasha, parashat Emor, continues the theme of holiness from last week's parasha, parashat Kedoshim,…

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Vayechi 5774-2013

“Reconciliation and Death” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Vayechi, we learn of the passing of two great historic personages, Jacob and his beloved son,…

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Burying The Dead

An unusually large body of Jewish law is concerned with interpersonal relationships, teaching how to properly respect each person, since all of humankind is created b’tzelem…

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A Sense of Guilt

At the end of the Book of Genesis, when Jacob passes away, his twelve sons journey together from Egypt to the Land of Israel to bury their father and then return to Egypt. After…

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Mitzvah With A Shovel

The Jewish customs surrounding death, burial and mourning are woven together to provide both respect for the departed and comfort for the mourners. One such custom that may seem startling…

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The Torn Cloth

When Jacob was told that his beloved son Joseph was dead, he cried out in sorrow and tore his garments (Genesis 37:34). The dramatic act of tearing one’s clothes remains a distinct part…

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Burying The Dead

An unusually large body of Jewish law is concerned with interpersonal relationships, teaching how to properly respect each person, since all of humankind is created b’tzelem Eh-lokim, in…

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Mitzvah With A Shovel

The Jewish customs surrounding death, burial and mourning are intended to provide both respect for the departed and comfort for the mourners. One such custom that may seem startling or…

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Hebrew Reading Crash Course Bonus Class

Hebrew Reading Crash CourseBonus ClassWelcome to NJOP’s Bonus Class for Read Hebrew America’s Hebrew Reading Crash…

Toledot 5773-2012

"The Sale of the Birthright" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Toledot, we learn of the sale of the birthright by Esau to his twin brother Jacob. In order to…

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Naso 5779-2019

"Traditional Judaism: Fundamentalist or Ascetic" (Revised and updated from Naso 5760-2000) by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald   In this week’s parasha, parashat Naso, we encounter the…

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Proper Burial

When making arrangements for a loved one, bear in mind that according to Jewish tradition the funeral should take place as close to the time of death as possible.

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Chayei Sara 5762-2001

"Raising Jewish Children in a Challenging Environment" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This coming week's parasha, parashat Chayei Sarah, begins with the death of Sarah. Less widely known…

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Naso 5760-2000

"Traditional Judaism: Fundamentalist or Ascetic" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this coming week's parasha, parashat Naso, we encounter the curious law of the Nazir, the Nazarite. In…

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Chukat 5768-2008

"The Death of Aaron" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Chukat, we learn of the death of Aaron, the High Priest of Israel. Numbers 20:20-29 relates that the…

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Vayechi 5771-2010

“A Very Imposing Camp” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Vayechi, the patriarch Jacob passes away at age 147 and is brought to Hebron for burial in Ma’arath…

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Kee Teitzei 5776-2016

“The Mitzvah of Burying the Dead” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald As previously noted, this week’s parasha, parashat Kee Teitzei, contains more mitzvot than any other parasha in the…

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The Longest 250 Miles: Sadat’s Bold Flight

Imagine America’s foremost enemy addressing a joint session of Congress? You can’t; it’s almost impossible to envision such a scenario actually taking place. But such a miraculous event,…

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Levi Eshkol

No leader wants to send troops to their deaths in battle. But facing the destruction of one’s nation is a trial no leader should ever face. Israel’s second Prime Minister, Levi Eshkol,…

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